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The hot weather is here and if you haven’t fired up your air conditioner yet, then you’re sure to want to very soon! For that reason, it’s better for you to get your HVAC maintenance started sooner rather than later.

For the best air conditioner performance and efficiency, consider maintenance to be a partnership between you and your HVAC professional. There are certain things that you can do and there are others that should be left to the pros. The following tips will keep your home and family cool this Summer, while ensuring the longest life for your AC unit and saving you money in the long run.

Consider the following essential HVAC tips to get your summer started on the right foot:

• Schedule your annual maintenance appointment – Ideally, you should have already had your air conditioner tuned up by a professional, but better late than never. This will help you to know that your family will stay cool all summer and will reduce the risk of emergency failures. A properly tuned up unit is a far more efficient one, which will keep your energy bills down. Call McLoughlin Plumbing Heating and Cooling to have your unit cleaned, tuned up and expected for leaks. That way, any issues can be repaired while they’re tiny and before they turn into serious problems.

• Replace/clean your air filter – Keeping a clean air filter is just as important to your air conditioning unit as it is to your furnace. During high-use seasons – such as summer and winter – replace your air filter every month (or clean it if it is reusable). This may seem like a very basic step but it plays a very important role in the unit’s operation. The filter fills with dirt, dust, pollen and other tiny particles. Over time, the filter becomes clogged and will reduce the air flow to the unit. The result is lower performance, greater strain on the system, and more dust and allergens in the air you breathe. According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one, can lower energy use by 5-15%. If you’re not sure how to replace your filter, ask your tech when he or she visits for your air conditioner tune-up.

• Replace your old thermostat with a digital programable thermostat– If you still have the old mechanical form of thermostat, consider upgrading to a digital model with programmable features. You’ll love the precision and ability to adjust your home’s temperature to keep things cool and use less energy at the same time. According to Energy Star, increasing your temperature just a few degrees while you are out of the home can save a typical family approximately $180 per year on energy costs.

• Tidy up your landscaping – As plants grow taller and the wind blows leaves and debris around your yard, your air conditioner unit can start to become buried in grass clippings, leaves, weeds and vines. This reduces air flow, which decreases performance and forces the unit to work harder, shortening its lifespan. Keep plants around the unit trimmed back and rake away any debris that has built up around it.

Are you ready to get the most out of your air conditioner by treating it right? Call McLoughlin Plumbing Heating and Cooling at (610) 649-8080 to schedule your annual AC tune-up today.